Eucrisa is a brand-name prescription medication. It’s a topical ointment that’s FDA-approved to treat mild to moderate atopic dermatitis (AD). (“Topical” means applied to the skin.) For this purpose, it may be used in adults as well as children ages 3 months and older.
AD is a long-term skin condition. It’s the most common form of a group of skin conditions known as eczema.
Eucrisa is a prescription ointment. It only comes in a 2% strength, which provides 20 milligrams (mg) of its active ingredient, crisaborole, per gram (g) of ointment. Eucrisa is available in a 60-g and a 100-g tube.
Eucrisa belongs to the phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE-4) inhibitor drug class. PDE-4 inhibitors help to decrease inflammation, which helps ease AD symptoms. But it’s unclear exactly how these drugs work to do so.
Eucrisa also contains non-active ingredients, such as white petrolatum. This is a common ingredient in ointments that helps moisten and protect your skin. To learn more about all of Eucrisa’s ingredients, see the manufacturer’s patient information.
To use Eucrisa, you apply a thin layer of ointment to affected skin twice per day. According to the manufacturer, Eucrisa should not be used in the mouth, eyes, or vagina.
For information about the effectiveness of Eucrisa, see the “Eucrisa uses” section below.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Eucrisa.
Does Eucrisa come as a cream or only as an ointment?
No, Eucrisa isn’t available as a cream. It only comes as a topical drug in ointment form. (“Topical” means applied to the skin.)
Ointments help lock in your skin’s moisture and act as a protective barrier. These qualities are often helpful for people with certain atopic dermatitis (AD) symptoms, such as dry, crusted, or irritated skin. (AD is the most common form of eczema.)
If you have questions about Eucrisa or other AD treatment options, talk with your doctor.
Where can I view before and after pictures of people who’ve used Eucrisa?
Visit the manufacturer’s site for pictures of people before and after they started using Eucrisa to treat mild to moderate AD. Most sets of pictures show how an affected area of a person’s skin looked at day 1 of treatment and after about 4 weeks of treatment.
Are there any reviews available about Eucrisa treatment?
Yes. You can watch videos and read testimonials about people’s experiences using Eucrisa to treat AD by visiting the manufacturer’s site. The site also has pictures of people’s skin before and after treatment with Eucrisa.
Does Eucrisa treat psoriasis, acne, or rosacea?
These skin conditions and AD may have similar symptoms, and they can have similar treatments. For example, topical corticosteroids are often prescribed for both psoriasis and AD. But they have differences, too.
Currently, Eucrisa is only FDA-approved as a topical treatment for mild to moderate AD in adults and children ages 3 months and older. But a recent clinical study found that crisaborole 2% ointment was effective at treating psoriasis that affects:
- facial skin
- skin in folds, such as that of the groin
- skin around the anus or external genitals
Crisaborole 2% ointment and Eucrisa have the same active ingredient, strength, and dosage form. So it’s possible doctors may prescribe Eucrisa off-label for psoriasis in these areas. They may also prescribe it for other skin conditions, such as rosacea.
If you have psoriasis, acne, or rosacea, talk with your doctor about the best treatment options for your skin condition.
Does Eucrisa come over the counter?
No, Eucrisa isn’t an over-the-counter medication. Eucrisa is a brand-name prescription medication.
To get Eucrisa, your doctor or healthcare professional must send a prescription to your pharmacy. If you have mild to moderate AD and are interested in trying Eucrisa, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Eucrisa seems expensive. Why is that?
Eucrisa is a newer treatment option for mild to moderate AD in certain people. It was released on the market in 2016. It’s currently the only drug in its class for this use.
Because it’s fairly new and novel, Eucrisa may be more costly than other topical treatment options that have been available for many years.
Eucrisa is also a brand-name prescription medication. It’s not available in generic form. And generic drugs often cost less than brand-name drugs.
Topical corticosteroids are often the first drugs that doctors prescribe for mild to moderate AD. And many topical corticosteroids are available in generic form, so they may be less expensive than Eucrisa. But the cost of a drug depends on many things, including whether you have health insurance that covers prescriptions.
If you’re concerned about the cost of Eucrisa, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, and insurance company. They can suggest less expensive options for treating AD. Also ask your doctor if they have any free samples of Eucrisa they can give you.
For more ways you might be able to reduce the cost of Eucrisa, see the “Eucrisa cost” section just below.
As with all medications, the cost of Eucrisa can vary. The actual price you’ll pay depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use. If you’d like to know Eucrisa’s cost with insurance, ask your pharmacist or call your insurance provider.
Keep in mind that you may be able to get a 90-day supply of Eucrisa. If approved by your insurance company, getting a 90-day supply of the drug could reduce your number of trips to the pharmacy and may help lower the cost. If you’re interested in this option, check with your doctor or your insurance company.
Before approving coverage for Eucrisa, your insurance company may require you to get prior authorization. This means that your doctor and insurance company will need to communicate about your prescription before the insurance company will cover the drug. The insurance company will review the prior authorization request and decide if the drug will be covered.
If you’re not sure if you’ll need to get prior authorization for Eucrisa, contact your insurance company.
Financial and insurance assistance
If you need financial support to pay for Eucrisa, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available.
Eucrisa coupon or savings card
Pfizer Inc., the manufacturer of Eucrisa, offers a copay savings card to help lower the cost of the drug for people who are eligible. But it doesn’t offer a coupon for Eucrisa.
For more information about the copay savings card and to find out if you’re eligible for one, visit the manufacturer’s site. You also may be able to find coupons on websites that offer prescription drug savings.
Eucrisa may be available through a mail-order pharmacy. Using this service could help lower the drug’s cost and allow you to get your medication without leaving home.
If recommended by your doctor, you may be able to receive a 90-day supply of Eucrisa, so there’s less concern about running out of the medication. If you’re interested in this option, check with your doctor and your insurance company. Some Medicare plans may help cover the cost of mail-order medications.
If you don’t have insurance, you can ask your doctor or pharmacist about online pharmacy options or other savings programs.
Eucrisa isn’t available in a generic form. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. Generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Eucrisa to treat certain conditions. Eucrisa may also be used off-label for other conditions. Off-label drug use means using a drug for a purpose other than what it’s been approved for by the FDA.
Eucrisa for eczema
AD often starts in childhood. But a person who has AD may see their symptoms come and go throughout their life. These are known as periods of flare-ups and remission.
AD can happen anywhere on the body. But it often affects different areas of skin in adults and children. While everyone’s AD symptoms are different, common symptoms include:
- itchy skin
- rash or irritation
- patches of red or discolored skin
- dry, hard, thick, or rough skin
- skin sores that open, crust over, or ooze
Treatment for AD may vary by your age or symptoms. In general, treatment plans may focus on:
- nondrug care, such as applying skin moisturizers and using certain bathing techniques
- trigger management to help prevent flare-ups
- phototherapy (light treatments to the skin)
- medications, such as topical,* oral, or injectable drugs
* “Topical” means applied to the skin.
Effectiveness for eczema
In two clinical studies, Eucrisa was effective at treating mild to moderate AD in adults and children ages 2 years and older.
The American Academy of Dermatology Association published its clinical guidelines for treating AD before Eucrisa was released on the market. So it doesn’t provide usage recommendations for Eucrisa.
Recent AD treatment guidelines from American Family Physician (AFP) suggest that Eucrisa is an effective AD treatment option. But the AFP guidelines also say it may not be a cost-effective option when first-line treatments* that cost less are available. An example is topical corticosteroids.
For questions about Eucrisa’s effectiveness for your AD, talk with your doctor or visit the manufacturer’s site.
To learn more about the latest news, resources, and treatments for skin, visit our dermatology hub.
* First-line treatments are drugs that doctors may prescribe first for a condition.
Eucrisa and children
In two clinical studies, Eucrisa was found to be effective at treating mild to moderate AD in children ages 2 years and older. Based on these studies, researchers concluded that the drug would also be effective for this use in babies ages 3 months and older.
An additional clinical study confirmed Eucrisa’s effectiveness for babies and toddlers ages 3 months to 2 years.
For questions about Eucrisa’s effectiveness for your baby’s or child’s AD, talk with their doctor.
Eucrisa can cause mild or serious side effects. This section describes the key side effects that may occur while using Eucrisa, but does not include all possible side effects.
For more information about the possible side effects of Eucrisa, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to manage any side effects that may be concerning or bothersome.
Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Eucrisa, you can do so through MedWatch.
Mild side effects
Mild side effects* of Eucrisa can include:
- pain where the ointment was applied, which may feel like stinging or burning on the skin†
Mild side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. But if they become more severe or don’t go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
* To learn more about the mild side effects of Eucrisa, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or view Eucrisa’s patient information.
† To learn more about this side effect, see “Side effect details” below.
Serious side effects
After applying Eucrisa, it’s possible to have the following rare, but serious side effect:
* To learn more about this side effect, see “Side effect details” below.
As with all drugs, Eucrisa may cause other serious side effects. Call your doctor right away if you think you’re having a serious side effect with the drug. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel like a medical emergency or seem life threatening.
Side effect details
Here’s some detail on certain side effects this drug may cause.
Burning or stinging on your skin
Some people may feel pain where they apply Eucrisa. This can be a burning or stinging sensation.
This side effect isn’t common. But it was the most reported side effect in clinical studies of Eucrisa.
In general, this side effect is mild. Burning or stinging of the skin where Eucrisa was applied may ease after using the drug for a few days or weeks.
Some doctors suggest keeping Eucrisa in the fridge because applying cold ointment may help prevent stinging. But the drug’s manufacturer recommends storing Eucrisa at room temperature. Before storing Eucrisa in your fridge, talk with your doctor.
If skin pain from applying Eucrisa doesn’t go away or gets worse, contact your doctor right away. They may suggest a different treatment option for your mild to moderate atopic dermatitis (AD). (AD is the most common form of eczema.)
Note that skin irritation is a common symptom of AD. If an AD flare-up is causing this symptom instead of Eucrisa, your doctor may suggest other treatments for your AD.
Watch your symptoms closely. If you notice severe itching, swelling, or more skin redness or discoloration than usual, get medical help right away. These could be symptoms of an allergic reaction, which is a rare but serious side effect of Eucrisa. (For more information, see “Allergic reaction” below.)
Long-term side effects
People who use Eucrisa for a long period of time may still experience side effects.
A clinical study followed the long-term safety of Eucrisa for mild to moderate AD in adults and children ages 2 years and older. After 48 weeks, the most commonly reported side effects were mild or moderate and included:
- worsening AD
- pain in the area the ointment was applied
- infection in the area the ointment was applied
The researchers concluded that Eucrisa is a safe long-term treatment option for most mild to moderate AD.
If you have questions about long-term treatment with Eucrisa and side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
You may have an allergic reaction after applying Eucrisa. This is a rare but serious side effect of Eucrisa.
Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:
- skin rash
- itchiness, which may be severe
- hives or patches of swollen, red, or discolored skin, which may form and then go away quickly
Although uncommon, symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:
- swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
- swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat
- trouble breathing
Keep in mind that certain symptoms aren’t restricted to just the area where you apply Eucrisa. During treatment with this drug, monitor your whole body for skin-related symptoms of allergic reaction.
Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Eucrisa, as the reaction could become severe. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.
If your doctor or healthcare professional confirms you’re having an allergic reaction to the drug, they’ll stop Eucrisa treatment right away and treat your symptoms. For mild symptoms, they may give you an oral antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl). Or they may recommend a topical corticosteroid drug, such as hydrocortisone cream (Locoid). (“Topical” means applied to the skin.)
For more severe symptoms, your doctor may suggest certain injectable drugs, such as epinephrine (EpiPen), or other treatments.
Other drugs are available that can treat atopic dermatitis (AD). (AD is the most common form of eczema.) Some options may be a better fit for your condition than others. The best choice will depend on many factors, such as your symptoms, lifestyle, and experience with past treatments.
If you’re interested in finding an alternative to Eucrisa, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that may work well for you.
Note: Some of the drugs listed here are used off-label to treat this specific condition. Off-label drug use is when a drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is used for a purpose other than what it’s approved for.
Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat AD include:
- topical* corticosteroids, such as:
- triamcinolone acetonide
- betamethasone dipropionate
- topical calcineurin inhibitors, such as:
- pimecrolimus (Elidel)
- tacrolimus (Protopic)
- dupilumab (Dupixent), an injectable immunosuppressant drug
- oral immunosuppressant drugs, such as:
- azathioprine (Imuran)
- cyclosporine (Sandimmune)
- tofacitinib (Xeljanz), a Janus kinase 1 inhibitor
* “Topical” means applied to the skin.
Eucrisa is a phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE-4) inhibitor drug. Its mechanism of action* for treating mild to moderate atopic dermatitis (AD)† is somewhat unclear.
Experts think people with AD have higher activity levels of PDE-4 in their skin cells. PDE-4 is an enzyme, which is a protein that aids chemical changes in your body. This enzyme helps manage inflammation in your body. Inflammation plays a role in AD and its skin symptoms.
Eucrisa helps prevent PDE-4 activity, which in turn increases a substance in your skin cells called cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). Preventing cAMP breakdown may lead to less inflammation and fewer AD symptoms, though experts aren’t sure why.
* Mechanism of action is how a drug works to treat your condition.
† AD is the most common form of eczema.
How long does it take to work?
In two clinical studies of Eucrisa, people with mild to moderate AD took the drug for about 4 weeks. Many had clear, or almost clear, skin at the end of this period.
Keep in mind that your results can depend on many factors. These may include the severity of your symptoms and how closely you follow your AD treatment plan. Ask your doctor when you might see a decrease in your AD symptoms.
The following information describes dosages that are commonly prescribed or recommended for Eucrisa. But be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you.
Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs based on your condition and other factors. These might include any side effects you have from using Eucrisa or potential interactions with other drugs you may take.
Drug forms and strengths
Eucrisa is a topical ointment. (“Topical” means applied to the skin.) It only comes in a 2% strength, which provides 20 milligrams (mg) of its active ingredient, crisaborole, per gram (g) of ointment.
Eucrisa ointment is packaged in a tube. The tubes come in two sizes, which contain the following quantities of ointment:
- 60 g
- 100 g
Dosage for eczema
For this use, the typical dose is a thin layer of Eucrisa ointment applied to any affected skin. You’ll typically apply this thin layer twice per day.
To treat mild to moderate AD in children ages 3 months and older, Eucrisa’s dosage is the same as it is for adults. See the section before this one for details.
What if I miss a dose?
If you forget to apply Eucrisa, try to do so as soon as you remember. But if it’s close to your next treatment time, skip the missed application. Apply Eucrisa at your next scheduled time. You shouldn’t apply more ointment than usual to make up for missed treatments.
To help make sure that you don’t forget to apply Eucrisa, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or timer on your phone or downloading a reminder app. A kitchen timer can work, too.
Will I need to use this drug long term?
With mild to moderate AD, you may have periods of remission. (Remission is when you have no AD signs or symptoms.) Or you may have periods of new or worsening symptoms, called flare-ups.
Some people may only need to use Eucrisa during a flare-up. And with their doctor’s instructions, they may stop Eucrisa once their AD symptoms lessen.
Others may have constant AD symptoms. In such cases, doctors may prescribe Eucrisa for longer periods of time until remission occurs. If your AD symptoms don’t go away or become severe, your doctor will likely change your AD treatment plan.
So depending on your AD and whether Eucrisa is safe and effective for you, you may use it only during flare-ups. Or you may use it for longer periods of time.
In animal studies, Eucrisa didn’t cause harm to fetuses when pregnant animals had dosages a few times larger than what’s recommended for humans. But fetal adverse effects were seen when pregnant animals had a dosage that was much larger than what humans would use.
If you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant, talk with your doctor. They can outline the risks and benefits of treatment with Eucrisa during pregnancy.
It’s unknown if Eucrisa is safe to take during pregnancy. If you’re sexually active and you or your partner can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs while you’re using Eucrisa.
For more information about taking Eucrisa during pregnancy, see the “Eucrisa and pregnancy” section above.
It’s unknown if Eucrisa is safe to use while breastfeeding. Currently, there are no clinical studies of Eucrisa treatment while breastfeeding.
When you use Eucrisa, the drug is absorbed into your body and bloodstream. That said, it’s unclear if it also passes into breast milk or affects milk production.
If you’re breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed, talk with your doctor about the safest way to feed your child during treatment.
Drinking alcohol doesn’t affect how Eucrisa works in your body.
But drinking alcohol may trigger atopic dermatitis (AD) flare-ups in some people. (Eucrisa is a topical treatment for mild to moderate AD in certain people. “Topical” means applied to the skin.)
If you consume alcohol, talk with your doctor about how this may affect your condition or AD treatment plan.
Even though you use Eucrisa by applying it to your skin, the drug is absorbed into your body and bloodstream. This means it may interact with other medications. Clinical studies didn’t find any drug interactions with Eucrisa. But a
Currently, there aren’t any known interactions between Eucrisa and supplements or foods.
Before taking Eucrisa, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.
If you have questions about any interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Eucrisa comes as an ointment. Typically, you’ll apply a thin layer to affected skin twice per day. According to the manufacturer, Eucrisa should not be used in the mouth, eyes, or vagina.
Also, don’t apply a thick layer of ointment or apply it more than twice per day. Doing so won’t improve your results with the drug and could be harmful.
Wash your hands after applying Eucrisa. But if you’re treating skin on your hands, don’t wash them. If another person applies Eucrisa for you, ask them to wash their hands afterward.
When to use
Typically, you should apply Eucrisa twice per day, such as before getting dressed in the morning and again before bedtime.
If you forget to apply Eucrisa, try to apply it as soon as you remember. But if it’s close to your next treatment time, skip the missed application. Apply Eucrisa at your next scheduled time. You shouldn’t apply more ointment than usual to make up for missed treatments.
To help make sure that you don’t forget to apply Eucrisa, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or timer. Or you can download a reminder app on your phone.
Before taking Eucrisa, talk with your doctor about your health history. Eucrisa may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health. These include:
- Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Eucrisa or any of its ingredients, you shouldn’t use Eucrisa. Ask your doctor what other medications are better options for you.
- Pregnancy. It’s unknown if Eucrisa treatment is safe during pregnancy. For more information, see the “Eucrisa and pregnancy” section above.
- Breastfeeding. It’s unknown if Eucrisa treatment is safe while breastfeeding. For more information, see the “Eucrisa and breastfeeding” section above.
Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of Eucrisa, see the “Eucrisa side effects” section above.
Don’t use more Eucrisa than your doctor recommends. For some drugs, doing so may lead to unwanted side effects or overdose.
What to do in case you use too much Eucrisa
If you think you’ve used too much of this drug, call your doctor. You can also call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. But if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room right away.
When you get tubes of Eucrisa ointment from the pharmacy, the pharmacist will add an expiration date to the prescription label. You can find the label on the tube or outer packaging. This expiration date is typically 1 year from the date they dispensed your medication.
The expiration date helps guarantee that the medication is effective during this time. The
How long a medication remains good to use can depend on many factors, including how and where you store the medication.
Eucrisa ointment should be stored at a room temperature of 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C) in its original tube. Keep the tube sealed tight.
If you no longer need to use Eucrisa and have leftover medication, it’s important to dispose of it safely. This helps prevent others, including children and pets, from using or ingesting the drug by accident. It also helps keep the drug from possibly harming the environment.
This article provides several useful tips on medication disposal. You can also ask your pharmacist for information about how to dispose of your medication.
Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.